So many thoughts rummaging around in my head these days, but one that has emerged in some state of cohesiveness to ponder with you all is about marketing. And yet it also isn’t.

Let me explain. I was reading a fantastic article about marketing by author and writing coach K.M. Weiland recently. (Or, more accurately, I was listening to its podcast while I picked raspberries.) Considering I’ve been there and back again with agents and editors, having come so close but then having been rejected due to my platform despite their enjoyment of my book, marketing is something I’ve been forcing myself to grow in. But still, it’s not my favorite part of the writing life. I’ve always hated being in a position that requires any suggestions of “Hey, you! Look at me!” Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind standing up and being in the spotlight if the occasion requires, but if I have to shout or fight for it, it’s just not for me.

But in her article, K.M. Weiland proposed that we writers should not being the jumping, shouting, brightly dressed hawkers, vying for everyone’s attention in a scene where everyone is shouting too. Instead, we should look at our attempts to present our writing to the world as an opportunity to serve.

Serve vs. sell. That’s huge.

I’d rather give than take. Wouldn’t you? That’s why I’ve always struggled with marketing. It’s always felt like I was asking for something. But if I can give instead, that’s a game changer.

But I said this wasn’t all about marketing, didn’t I? And I meant it. You see, as I was thinking about serving rather than selling, I began thinking about evangelism and how hard it can sometimes be for me to share my faith. I always feel as if I’m debating or trying to win someone over. I’ve been praying about this lately, asking to be a better communicator of His truth and love, and I’m starting to see a parallel.

What if our faith was not something to be presented like a manuscript to a bored, overworked editor, but instead something to give as an act of service to someone who needs what we have, no matter whether they knew it or not? What if our sharing sound like “Here is what God can give you: hope, salvation, forgiveness, peace…” rather than, “Try God and see how He works for you”?

Serving vs. selling. It’s something the world needs more of. Fewer screaming voices and more offering hands. Less taking and more giving.

So…what can I do for you? No, I have nothing to sell. But we all have something we can offer, and so if can offer anything here on this blog or anywhere else, I dearly want to know how. Comment away!

2 thoughts on “Serving vs. Selling

  1. Good post. I fell the same way you do about pushing my books. I think the idea you’re onto here is related to the beatitude “The meek shall inherit the earth.” It may not seem like it at first and we may mistake or misunderstand what Jesus means by “meek” (it does not mean obsequious BTW Jordan Peterson has a pretty good take on the meaning of “meek” in this context. I can’t link you to it right now, but it is something like “power under control.”) I am also reminded of one of my favorite passages from Eugene Peterson’s (two Petersons in one comment, how about that) The Message. It’s from the 5th chapter of Galatians: “But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard – things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart . . . we find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely . . . .”

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    1. That’s a good point about the beatitudes. While the worldly system may say “You must do it this way,” we as Christians do not have be that way, because ultimately, our treasure, reward, and goal is in heaven. Obedience to Christ should be our only goal. That’s true success.

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